08/10/2003 11:00PM

Three horses euthanized following horrific spill

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DEL MAR, Calif. - Three horses perished and five jockeys were dislodged from their mounts, with two riders suffering significant injuries, in a terrifying accident in Monday's fourth race at Del Mar.

Jockey Jose Silva was taken to a local hospital, where X-rays revealed a fracture of a vertebra in his lower back. His was reported to be conscious and moving his extremities. Jockey Tyler Baze suffered a broken big toe on his left foot, and a fracture on the top of that foot. Jockey Anthony Lovato was taken to another local hospital for X-rays of his lower back.

Two other riders, David Flores and Mick Ruis, suffered bruises. Flores took off one race, rode another, then took off his remaining mounts, complaining of soreness in his right shoulder. Ruis bruised his left ankle, but continued to ride and won the day's final race.

The fourth race was at six furlongs for $10,000 claiming horses. As the field passed the three-furlong pole, Lovato's mount, Mr. Powerful, broke his left front leg while racing in third place and fell to the track. Kiss an Angel, ridden by Baze, and The Station, ridden by Flores, then grazed Mr. Powerful. Both jockeys came off their mounts, but the horses did not go down and continued to the finish without their riders.

Jentzen, ridden by Silva, crashed sickeningly into the prone Mr. Powerful, as did Ruis's mount, Pacific Pride.

Jentzen broke his back in the accident. Pacific Pride broke his right shoulder when he fell. Those two were euthanized, as was Mr. Powerful.